Trapped in female form by a pressure point that makes him too heat-sensitive to return to normal, Ranma faces a crisis. Can he master the exotic Kachu Tenshin Amaguriken technique and retrieve the antidote to his condition, or will he be forced to wed Shampoo if he is ever to regain his true gender?
Relation to the Previous Episode
This episode continues the Shampoo Returns arc, which will be concluded in Cool Runnings! The Race of the Snowmen, and carries on directly from the ending of the previous episode.
Plot OverviewA naked female Ranma stares at the filled bath in front of her, recalling Cologne's warning of what she had done to her, and shouts a desperate denial before leaping into its water. She immediately leaps right back out again, screaming in agony from the heat; true to Cologne's words, no matter how hard Ranma tries, she cannot bear the warmth she needs in order to resume her true male form. Eventually, this leads to Ranma blacking out from the pain and waking up in a bed, surrounded by the Tendo girls - and, to her absolute horror, dressed in a pair of frilly panties and a see-through pink nightgown. Nabiki takes Ranma's horrified questions in aplomb, explaining the outfit was hers but she'll give it to Ranma if she wants, and it looks pretty good on her as well. Ranma's protests that she is really a boy are met with Nabiki telling her to lighten up, while Kasumi adds that she also thinks it's a cute outfit and notes that Ranma has been spending a lot of time as a girl lately.
This does not improve Ranma's mood, and, later that day, she walks down the street grumbling about their casual attitude to something that is hurting her so much. Her mood only sours when Tatewaki Kuno approaches, first planning to challenge Ranma, then to date her when he sees she is "the pigtailed girl". Ranma promptly kicks him in the face and sends him hurtling away in disgust, whereupon Shampoo cycles up and asks eagerly if Ranma has changed her mind about the wedding yet. Ranma angrily shouts that she hasn't, whereupon Kuno suddenly charges her again - thankfully, he is met with Akane's thrown bookbag in the face, though her concern vanishes when she realises she just knocked out Kuno and she flatly tells Ranma she wouldn't have bothered if she'd realised who he was. Ranma is not impressed by this attitude, and Kuno promptly springs up again to try and flirt with Akane - but this time, Shampoo knocks him unconcious by hitting him on the top of her head with her bike's front wheel. Unconcerned with this, she tells Ranma to follow her, as she has important news to share.
Though Akane is, justifiably, suspicious, she and Ranma listen to Shampoo as she explains that Cologne has brought out the Phoenix Pill, a presumably herbal or alchemical medicine that will undo the effect of the Full Body Cat's Tongue. Ecstatic, Ranma leaps off in the direction of the Nekohanten, even as Akane angrily demands to know why Shampoo would tell Ranma about there being a cure for the pressure points attack in question. Shampoo calmly states that she loves Ranma as he really is, a boy, then asks if Akane the "pervert girl" prefers Ranma as a girl, much to Akane's fury.
Unaware of what is brewing behind her, Ranma storms into the Nekohanten and makes a frontal attack on Cologne, trying to grab the large circular clasp from around her neck in which it is evidently stored. To her dismay, though, Cologne proves far too fast and agile, effortlessly evading every one of Ranma's strikes and then sending her flying through the doors to land in some garbage on the opposite block, just as Akane and Shampoo run up. They can only watch sympathetically as Ranma pulls herself to her feet and attacks again, this time being sent flying back so hard she craters the wall when she bounces off of it. And when she makes a third attack, they can only shake their heads sadly as she comes flying out through the doors and into the wall even harder than before. As she is struggling to her feet yet again, she notices a tattered piece of paper that used to be taped to the doors - before she smashed through them. It's an advert for a waitress and, seeing the possibilities here, Ranma promptly applies for the job.
By the next day or so, the Nekohanten has men lined up around the block to get in; they all want to see Ranma, now working as its main waitress. The appeal seems to be one part Ranma's looks to one part the elaborate martial arts displays that result whenever Ranma tries to snatch the Phoenix Pill - for starters, trying to grab it while Cologne is serving up a bowl of ramen leads to that bowl seeming to float in midair from the speed of their strikes, and it ends with Ranma carefully walking off to serve four bowls of ramen; one in each hand, one balanced on the top of her head, and one balanced on the end of a pair of unsplit chopsticks being held in her mouth.
The next day, a weary Ranma heads off to work, even as the Tendos note that they feel sorry for her, as Cologne is clearly running her into the ground. While Soun takes a detached "this too is part of training" attitude to the affair, Kasumi gently asks if Akane isn't worried about what's happening to Ranma. Akane angrily insists that she doesn't care, but her expression is melancholic.
At the Nekohanten, Ranma spots the Phoenix Pill's case lying unattended on the counter and thinks that she may be free at last - but all that happens is that she puts on another display for her customers.
Akane finally decides to come to the Nekohanten and watches in horror as Ranma runs around the restaurant balancing seven bowls of ramen on the end of spinning sticks, one of which is being balanced on a kettle that is being balanced on the tip of a stick being held in her mouth, even as Cologne notes that ranma has made great progress. Once Ranma has served them all, Akane asks if Ranma is ready to quit, pointing out in an aghast tone what Cologne is forcing Ranma to do. Ranma merely laughs that Akane hasn't seen anything serious yet... then faints facefirst into Akane's cleavage. Akane stands there in stunned embarrassment for a few moments, then delivers a powerful slap to Ranma's left cheek - seconds before Shampoo comes racing in through the doors and, yelling at Ranma to snap out of it, slaps her on the right cheek as she is reeling from Akane's blow, leaving the boy-turned-girl unconscious on the floor. The crowd claps and cheers at what they see as more entertainment, but Akane and Shampoo are both too angrily focused on each other to pay any attention. Ranma breaks up any brewing squabbles by getting up and telling them to take it outside while she's working.Cologne then calls to Ranma and leads her, Akane and Shampoo out into an alley, where she starts a fire and throws a bag of sweet chestnuts into it. Then, to Ranma and Akane's amazement, her hands lash out in an incredible burst of speed, effortlessly plucking them all from the flames without so much as singing her skin. As the two Joketsuzoku explain, this is the legendary 3000-year-old Kachu Tenshin Amaguriken, which could help Ranma get fast enough to take the Phoenix Pill. Cologne challenges Ranma to master the move and then leaves, with Ranma making a heartfelt vow to master the technique or die trying.
Later that evening, a singed Ranma squats wearily in front of a crackling fire, even as a blustering Genma demands to know how Ranma can fail to do such a simple trick. Ranma simply points at the fire, and Genma brags that he will show Ranma how it's done... only to end up setting his gi sleeves on fire and needing Ranma to scornfully kick him into the pond.
In the kitchen, the Tendo girls comment on how Ranma still hasn't made any progress with the Amaguriken training, but then the topic changes to the fact a fair is being held in the park that night.
Ranma mocks Genma for trying to talk so tough, then startles as she hears Cologne calling to her. Leaping down from the wall, Cologne taunts Ranma with the Phoenix Pill, but her efforts to grab it simply leave her with the kanji for "reject" stamped all over both arms. Cologne then warns Ranma that this is the last time she will show her how to do the Amaguriken, which prompts Ranma to bitterly note she didn't ask to see it the first time, and then grabs all of the roasting chestnuts without being burned again as the Tendos watch. Even as Kasumi and Nabiki applaud the impressive display, Cologne excuses herself with the fact she has left some noodles boiling and bounds away, declaring she'll be back to see Ranma later.
Once she has gone, Soun Tendo notes that Ranma may have bitten off more than she can chew, which prompts Ranma to declare that she has no choice but to master the Amaguriken. Akane begs with Ranma to stop, as her Full Body Cat's Tongue means she's just going to end up hurting herself - and true to her words, Ranma can't even muster the willpower to approach the flames. Ranma falls to her hands and knees bewailing her fate; she can't bear to live the rest of her life as a girl, but giving in to Cologne is unthinkable. Soun comforts her, and exhorts her to go to the fair and relax, to take her mind off of things. Ranma is doubtful, but Kasumi pleasantly suggests that Ranma can go with Akane to forget her troubles, while Nabiki comments that Ranma may find some inspiration while doing so. Akane protests that she doesn't want to babysit Ranma, who in return snaps that she hasn't said she'll go yet...
But she does end up going. Akane exhorts Ranma to relax and take her mind off of her problems, but Ranma protests that she can't do that... even as she runs from game to game and activity to activity. Akane happily ignores Ranma's complaint, noting that Ranma seems happy for the first time since this whole mess began, then catches the sound of crying; a little boy at a nearby goldfish catching stall has proven a failure and Akane steps forward, offering to catch one for him. To her dismay, she fails with the first stroke, and ends up going through dozens of the paper 'nets' before angrily confronting the stall owner, accusing him of having rigged the game.At that, Ranma appears and offers to catch them herself, especially when told that catching them all means keeping them all for free. To the amazement of all concerned, she proceeds to do so effortlessly, whereupon the desperate stall keeper, afraid of being put out of business, pulls out a tank full of hungry red-bellied piranha and challenges Ranma to catch them all barehanded or else give the goldfish back. Ranma eagerly accepts the challenge, and reassures the horrified Akane that she'll be fine, as she's fast enough to grab them before they bite and it's no different from what she just did with the goldfish. Then, she stops as realisation hits her; this is the same principle as the Amaguriken, and if she can master this challenge, she'll be just as fast as if she had completed the training of grabbing chestnuts from an open fire. With that fact in mind, she proceeds.
Once she has succeeded, she races away to the Nekohanten, storming in and demanding Cologne come out and give her the Phoenix Pill, to the bemusement of the customers. When a hidden trapdoor under Ranma's feet suddenly dumps her in an underground tunnel, they applaud the stage magic. Quickly recovering, she shouts a challenge to Cologne after her voice emerges from within the mist. To her shock, she finds herself assaulted by four monsters; a dragon, a pig-demon, an ogre, and a monkey-demon. Strangely, her blows pass right through the pig and dragon, and when the ogre blows flames at her, she instinctively tries to smother them out by rolling along the ground, only to realise that they aren't real. Leaping up and clinging to the ceiling, she spots Cologne controlling the "monsters" from a cauldron of smoking fumes, with the elderly Chinese woman complimenting her on seeing through the illusion. Ranma dives at Cologne, but misses, upsetting the cauldron and watching the demons vanish even as Cologne herself scurries off. Ranma finds herself still under attack by the monkey, though, which she realises is a real monkey and promptly steals the quarterstaff from, knocking him unconscious and going after Cologne.She discovers Cologne floating serenely in a large bucket in the middle of a huge bath of steaming hot water, fed from ornamental fountains in the shape of a tiger and a dragon. Cologne challenges Ranma to follow her, and Ranma does so, using the quarterstaff as a kind of pogostick to cross the bath without entering the water. Cologne thinks she has Ranma beaten when a sweep of her staff sends a huge wave of hot water chasing her across the bath and slamming against the wall, but to her shock Ranma somehow escapes it and surfs the resultant back-wave to her on a pair of water buckets, leaping from the top of the wave and lashing out with her newly mastered Amaguriken, catching herself with the quarterstaff at the last second. To Cologne's shock, Ranma succeeds in stealing the pill-case, flipping it open and swallowing the oddly candy-like pill before dropping into the water, eagerly anticipating a return to masculinity. Unfortunately for her, seconds before she hits the water, Cologne explains that it looks so much like candy because it is candy. Ranma's screams of pain draw the racing Akane and Shampoo to his presence, and Akane splashes the contents of the piranha tank from before across Ranma to relieve his pain. As Ranma sits on her knees on the side of the bath, surrounded by flapping, biting fish, Cologne explains she took the precaution of switching out the pill, just in case Ranma really was good enough to take it from her. Ranma is silent for several long moments, to Akane's concern, then vows that Cologne will be sorry for this.
Cast in Order of Appearances
|Character Name||Japanese Voice||English Voice|
|Ranma Saotome (female)||Megumi Hayashibara||Venus Terzo|
|Cologne||Miyoko Asō||Elan Ross Gibson|
|Ranma Saotome (male, flashback)||Kappei Yamaguchi||Sarah Strange|
|Kasumi Tendo||Kikuko Inoue||Willow Johnson|
|Nabiki Tendo||Minami Takayama||Angela Costain|
|Tatewaki Tendo||Hirotaka Suzuoki||Ted Cole|
|Shampoo (human)||Rei Sakuma||Cathy Weseluck|
|Akane Tendo||Noriko Nagai||Myriam Sirois|
|Soun Tendo||Ryūsuke Ōbayashi||David Kaye|
|Genma Saotome (human, panda)||Kenichi Ogata||Robert O. Smith|
- No reason is ever given as to why Shampoo tells Ranma about the Phoenix Pill, even though she presumably has nothing more than to sit back and wait for Ranma's desperation to resume his male form forces him to conceed to Cologne's blackmail.
- Similarly, no reason is given as to why Cologne tells Ranma about the Kachu Tenshin Amaguriken technique that will supposedly enable him to steal the Phoenix Pill from her, though in the subbing Shampoo states that Cologne "approves" of Ranma and is giving him a hint.
- While waitressing at the Nekohanten, Ranma's uniform consists of a pink cheongsam with a print of bells on it, topped with a white apron. Strangely, when she heads to work there, she is shown wearing a plain yellow cheongsam.
- After Shampoo explains about the Phoenix Pill and Ranma jumps away to the Cat Cafe, he was mistakenly drawn in his male form.
- After training in attempting the Snatching of the Chestnut on the Open Fire at Ranma's stay-at home the old lady appears and as Ranma tried to snatch the Phenoix Pill from her, Ranma's hair was in his/her boy form.
- Ranma's opening flashback basically mixes the information from Cologne's appearance during his/her bath at the end of the last episode with the scene where she hit the pressure point.
- The monsters that Ranma confronts are clearly meant to be Sandy, Piggsy, Horse and Monkey, from the Chinese fable "Journey to the West".
- In the manga, the elaborate arena where Ranma has her final showdown with Cologne is under a stall set up specifically for the festival - here, it's under the original Nekohanten. This makes for something of a continuity error; why then would the only cold water Akane and Shampoo have to hand be the tank of piranha, if they are not, in fact, still at the festival? Even though Akane does claim in the subbed version to have "brought the tank along", why would she have kept it in the first place?
- In the dubbing, Cologne claims that the illusions she used were capable of fooling the last emperor of the "Sou Dynasty", while in the subbing, she claims he was the last emperor of the "Ch'in Dynasty".